Coast hotels reap big as Kenyans celebrate Christmas, New Year

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 00:00 | By
Local tourists toast at Whitesands Hotel, Mombasa, during the Christmas holiday. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

TOURISM: The tourism sector at the Coast performed remarkably well during the 2021 December festivities compared to last year going by the number of bookings recorded.

Players in the industry yesterday said they observed a significant growth in hotel bookings, with most hotels recording between 90 and 100 per cent bookings during the December festivities as opposed to the 2020 season when most hotel bookings were ranging between 60 and 80 per cent.

Travelers Beach Hotel General Manager Hilary Siele said that during this festive season, “the demand was higher than the supply,”.

“This year we did an average of 80 per cent of hotel bookings for the entire month of December which was an improvement from last year which was below 60 per cent. So this year was definitely way better,” he said.

While noting that domestic tourists were instrumental in the growth, Kenya Coast Tourism Association CEO Julius Owino said the improved performance can be attributed to lifting of Covid-19 restrictions which choked the industry in 2020. Owino also said increased vaccination rate towards the end of the year also contributed significantly to the “impressive performance.”

“If you look at numbers this year, during December we did much better that last year. Remember in 2020 we still had curfews during the festive season. This time round during December hotels were doing between 90 and 100 per cent,” he said. 

Prolonged curfew

People, he added, were eager to move out and refresh after a prolonged curfew period.

Owino added: “If we sustain the vaccination process so that we can have more than 30 million Kenyans vaccinated it will be a very good thing.”

The KCTA boss further noteed that 70 to 75 per cent of the guests who checked in Coastal hotels during last year’s December festive season were from the domestic market.

Owino said the domestic market also played a big role in the Safari, recording between 60 to 70 per cent compared to last year where they were doing around 50 per cent.

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